There’s an uneasy mood in the Apple Isle following the release of the memoirs of former Liberal leader Bob Cheek.

It wasn’t helped when an article appeared in The Australian
on Thursday claiming that Opposition Leader Rene Hidding “has denied
acting improperly towards a female staff member who complained he got
‘too close’ to her in an incident during a late-night parliamentary

The Mercury rehashed the yarn
the following day, but it wasn’t raised this morning when Hidding spent
20 minutes talking on ABC Radio with Tasmanian morning host Tim Cox.

Cheek book has caused havoc within the Liberals, and its claims about
Hidding have almost killed off his leadership. The question, however,
is when.

The Liberals are already heading for a horror election.
In addition to the Hidding character assassination, they have been
unable to build on their position in the polls despite 12 months of bad
news for Labor on health, tourism, ministerial resignations and big
business deals. Instead, their vote has been stuck in the low thirties
since July last year. They have no money and lousy candidates – none of
the stars attractions that are so important to pull votes to your
ticket in Tasmania’s multi-member electorates.

Will the Hidding allegations reported by the Oz – and Cheek’s other claims – get an airing? If so, when?

Liberals are terrified that the onslaught hasn’t even begun – that
Hidding will be destroyed just at the time when Premier Paul Lennon
bring on the election, due next year.